SYDNEY (AFP) – Australia vice-captain David Warner has voiced concerns about the pink ball used for day-night Tests, a report said Saturday, amid a stand-off with South Africa over a proposed fixture.
Cricket Australia want day-night Tests against South Africa and Pakistan in their 2016-17 home season but have admitted that player concerns about the experimental format mean the Proteas’ match has not been locked in.
Aggressive opening batsman Warner reportedly told The Australian newspaper that players want the pink ball improved.
“The concept is fantastic and it is a great spectacle, but for those of us who play it, the most important thing is getting the ball right,” he said from India where he is playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
“It’s always going to be an issue because it is not a red ball. You can’t shine it up like you do a red ball and Test cricket has always been about using the red ball properly when you’re in the field.
“Looking after it to get swing is a key and we can’t do that with a pink ball because it will not shine up.”
Warner, who played in the inaugural day-night Test against New Zealand in Adelaide last year, said batsmen and fielders struggled to see the pink ball at times.
“It’s still hard to see during the twilight period,” he said. “The guys on the side boundaries have trouble picking it up. You have to get that right.
“With the ball they used last year, there was no chance of seeing the seam. If you’re a batsman it is critical to be able to see the seam as it gets closer to you so you can work out which way it is going to swing — if it does.”
Australian administrators regard the inaugural day-night Test against New Zealand in Adelaide last season as an outstanding success, attracting 123,000 spectators and an average television audience of two million.
But players from both sides have complained about the pink ball’s movement and durability, as well as the difficulty batsmen faced seeing it under lights.
The Australian said that Cricket Australia had subsequently tested a modified pink ball in domestic Sheffield Shield matches but players reported it was worse than the previous model.